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The All Blacks’ 31-man squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
OPINION:This was Steve Hansen at his very best.
No one knows the respect the Rugby World Cup demands better than Hansen and the All Blacks coach was full of that quality as he discussed his 31-man squad to go to Japan.
This is Hansen’s fifth World Cup. He knows its highs and lows better than anyone.
He’s suffered quarter-final defeats with both Wales and the All Blacks, he’s won the last two with New Zealand and looks to sign off an unrivalled career in charge of the All Blacks with a hat-trick in the Far East.
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With around 80 media in attendance at the squad naming in the hallowed dressing room at Auckland’s Eden Park, and a national watching and listening on TV, radio and the internet, Hansen looked in total control as he ran the show with the sort of command he holds over his champion players.
His introductory speech was a gem as he tipped his hat to those who had made the squad and showed the necessary compassion to those who had missed out.
After all, he wasn’t shy to make some tough calls in
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